November 9, 2016

Eat Your Way to a Longer Life

Note: this post has been updated in December 2021.

Eat Like A Centenarian

Want to give yourself the best chances of a healthier, longer life? It’s widely known that a healthy diet is an important aspect of that. But which dietary elements are really the best, and in which ratios? Look at Ideas to Improve Your Nutrition. With proper nutrition you will be able to have a longer life.

We might get a clue from the common diets of people residing in “blue zones” – areas of the world where an unusually high percentage of the population live to over one hundred. The areas are spread across the globe, but all have certain things in common. Here’s a look at what those healthy centenarians eat!

Get 95% of your food from plants

Produce whole grains and beans dominate meals all year long in each of the blue zones. People eat an impressive variety of vegetables when they are in season, and then they pickle or dry the surplus. The best of the best longevity foods are leafy greens. In Ikaria, more than seventy-five varieties grow like weeds. Studies found that middle-aged people who consumed the equivalent of a cup of cooked greens daily were half as likely to die in the next four years as those who ate no greens.

Consume meat no more than twice a week

Families in most of the Blue Zones enjoy meat sparingly, as a side or a way to flavor other dishes. Aim to limit your intake to 2 ounces or less of cooked meat (an amount smaller than a deck of cards) five times a month. And favor chicken, lamb or pork from family farms. The meat in the blue zones comes from animals that graze or forage freely, which likely leads to higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids.

Eat up to 3 ounces of fish daily

The Adventist Health Study 2, which has been following 96,000 Americans since 2002, discovered that people who ate a plant-based diet and included a small portion of fish up to once a day were the ones who lived the longest. In the blue zones overseas, fish is a common part of everyday meals. For the most part, the best fish choices are middle-of-the-food-chain species such as sardines, anchovies and cod, which aren’t exposed to high levels of mercury or other chemicals. – via ABC News

Drop extra pounds like it is hot

It’s no secret that dropping a few extra pounds (if you have them to lose, that is) can help you live a healthier and longer life.

Focusing and worrying over your weight can have an unintended, unhealthy set of consequences.

However, keeping your mind on the big picture and making good lifestyle choices can help you arrive at and maintain a healthy weight happily, without obsessing over every pound.

Let’s look at a few healthy habits you can incorporate into your routine to help you live a longer life!

The delicious meal shown below would be an example of eating like a pauper.

longer life


Explorer and author Dan Buettner recently interviewed hundreds of people aged 100 and up from around the world and asked them about their lifestyles, then he crunched a ton of data to figure out what they all had in common.

Interestingly enough, the majority of the people he met with said they typically eat their smallest meal of the day in the late afternoon or evening—not in the morning, like the majority of Americans.

Tel Aviv University researchers concur. When they put two groups of overweight women on a 1,400-calorie diet, those who ate small 200-calorie dinners and large 700-calorie breakfasts lost 50 percent more weight than the group who ate their largest meal in the evening instead. The group who ate the big breakfast also lost twice as many inches around their waists than the large dinner eaters.


Want to jump-start your weight loss and also live to see humans colonize Mars? No problem. Just add more nuts and fatty fish (like tuna, wild salmon, mackerel and sardines) to your diet.

These foods contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, nutrients that have been proven to lower overall mortality risk by up to 27 percent and decrease the odds of dying from heart disease by about 35 percent.

Just when you think those mighty omega-3s couldn’t get any better, the good news keeps on coming. Research also suggests the nutrient can boost weight loss by warding off blood sugar spikes and speeding recovery after workouts.

Bigger, less-inflamed muscles mean you’ll have a faster metabolism, which can help you get lean and trim at lightning speed. – via Eat This Not That

One Big Caution

If you are vegan, fish is not an option as no animal products of any type are permitted on this type of diet or lifestyle.

Conclusions and taking control of your life

Science confirms that a diet rich in whole, plant-based foods can help you live to the fullest and still get adequate protein. In fact, a growing number of physicians advocate a completely plant-based diet for many of their patients who suffer from diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Check out these great sources Plant-Based Nutrition, 2E (Idiot’s Guides)

 Nutrition Facts: The Truth About Food, and

The Forks Over Knives Plan

The Forks over Knifes, a simple plan that focuses on hearty comfort foods and does not involve portion control or worrying about obtaining single nutrients like protein and calcium.

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Express your opinion

What are you doing to have the longest, healthiest life possible? Are there any minor changes you can make to your habits to extend your health and lifelong term?

If I can answer any questions or if you have an opinion that you would like to express, please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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